We moved. It sounds and seems simple. It wasn’t and isn’t. Was it worth it? Yes. Is everything hunky-dory after six months. Not quite. I wanted someone to talk to, so thanks for being there.
For now, let’s skip the part about getting a house ready to sell. Maybe later. My best advice if you are going to sell your home is to have the meanest home inspector you can find inspect your home for you as soon as you decide to sell, or sooner. Find out what buyers will find out before they do so. Oh – don’t repair everything. Inspectors want to be worth their fee, so they will find something, anything to report.
Buying a house is something I forgot about after fifteen years. I suppose I became comfortable and complacent in a house I got to know well. During a power outage, of which there were many, I could find my way in the dark. So the new home search began…
We lucked into a fantastic, no-nonsense, atypical and very patient real estate agent. We thought we knew what we wanted and also realized this would probably be the last home we buy (hopefully). As time went on, our agent really did know what we wanted better than we did. Between my thoughts, my husband’s thoughts, and the one child remaining at home’s thoughts, our agent did a great job of distilling. Almost every house at which we looked had good points…and bad. We politely and quickly walked through the mess of a house at which I exited the car into a pile of dog you-know-what. Even my agent’s amazing x-ray vision couldn’t find the potential in that house (loving home though it was to the family moving). It was so difficult envisioning a new home at this stage of my life. It was difficult to consider that soon the children would all be on their own and that, due to (ahem) aging, our needs were not the same as when we were the parents of three young children. My hubby wanted a commute that didn’t involve highway traffic jams, and I had my own geographical desires. I needed to keep a home going. I also volunteer a lot and wanted to be where I could do so without going into a major city. Since we still had a child attending school, school districts were a consideration. So were taxes. So were housing prices. So were neighborhoods. My head was spinning.
We found a house we loved. Enter the real estate agent on my shoulder. It’s on a main road with a lot of traffic, he warned. We weren’t listening. The house was move-in ready, beautiful and had almost everything we wanted. We aren’t the renovation type. Think hard, he cautioned. He played the resell a house on a busy road card. He won.
Then there is what we called “The Woodpecker Estate”. The kitchen was huge, the laundry room was huge, the living room had high ceilings and lots of light, the basement could house a city, the land was gorgeous. The house needed many thousands of dollars in repair. And the best part – there were woodpecker holes everywhere! Did the old, though functional elevator in the house trump the woodpeckers? Our agent stayed quiet. The kids loved the house. We were tempted even though we knew we didn’t need all of that space. It had almost everything we wanted. We passed.
I loved the older home in the great neighborhood. Until. Until we got to the third (attic in use) floor. Oh my, the third floor was crooked. Literally. I stopped loving the home.
Then there was house number 51. There was something about it when I walked in. It was the something I’d been waiting for as I entered every house. I felt comfortable. I looked at my agent and whispered, “I feel so comfortable here,” and he said, “Shh, don’t let them know that.” So I didn’t. The kitchen was smaller that we wanted. The house lacked skylights for brightness, there was no bathroom in the basement, the land was or was getting overgrown, the… house felt comfortable. The family room was inviting, the dining room allowed a table to stretch through to the family room for large family gatherings, the master bedroom was on the first floor, the… house felt comfortable. I called my husband.
My family came to see house number 51. Their comments? The kitchen was too small (for them, never mind I do most of the cooking), there were no skylights (nor the ability to add them), there was no bathroom in the basement, the land was or was getting overgrown. Is it comfortable, I asked. They agreed it was enough so for them. We put in a bid. We agreed on a price (after all of the pain-in-the-neck going back and forth negotiating). The process was tiring.
Next… Hey, we are moving! This is real!